Hawaii is a great place to rent your investment property to others for income. Be sure to have a landlord insurance policy in HI if you want to protect your personal net worth along with the rental unit. Landlord insurance provides landlord liability coverage, building property coverage and loss of rents coverage. When you are the owner of a rental property the last thing you want to think about is whether the property is protected against the unforeseen calamity.
Given the natural beauty of the islands it makes for a great place for people to rent a home during the year. Many renters will come from all over the world to live in one of the most beautiful places known to man. This makes it a perfect place for landlords to make extra income from their properties.
One of the side effects from having a rental property in Hawaii is the renter turn over tends to run pretty high. Many residents of the islands live on a small income which is hard to afford the good life in a place where the cost of living is high.
Do I Need Tsunami Insurance?
There is no coverage for a tsunami on a landlord insurance policy. This is similar to flood insurance where the National Flood Insurance Program offers protection administered by FEMA. Tsunamis can cause massive damage to homes and businesses so preparing for them is critical. You should look into flood insurance from NFIP to protect against what won't be covered under a standard home insurance policy.
Cost of Landlord Insurance in Hawaii
The cost to insure your rental property in HI is dependent upon numerous rating factors that home insurance companies use to determine the proper premium. When you own a condo or townhouse the cost of landlord insurance is very minimal because usually you split that cost with the homeowners association which insurers the exterior of your unit. If you insure a single family home or rental complex then your insurance costs are going to be much higher due to the replacement cost of the building is solely your responsibility.
Most common rating factors that insurance companies use to determine your landlord insurance premium:
- Credit rating - This is your personal credit rating which is similar to a FICO score but can be based on other specific criteria such as payment history and bankruptcy.
- Location - The zip code or city that your rental unit is located in has a dramatic effect on your insurance premiums as companies who have big losses in those areas will increase rates to get profitable.
- Building type - This can be numerous things including condo, single family, and townhouse including the materials used to construct the property.
- Claim history - If you have one or more claims in the past 3 years as a homeowner most insurance companies will surcharge your premium. Some companies may not even accept your business if you have more than two.
- Discounts - If you have more business with an insurance carrier they are more likely to offer discounts to keep all of your business with them.
How to Find The Cheapest Landlord Insurance in HI
Each insurance company is different in the way they determine your rate and how much the average policy will cost but here are ways to ensure the lowest cost premium based on the factors above.
- Good Credit - The better your credit the lower the cost of your insurance. Many states are now allowing credit as a rating criteria so get used to it being used. Try to keep your past payment history spotless and a FICO score above 720 is considered excellent.
- Improve the Location - There is not much you can do about the location once you have purchased the rental property but be sure to keep the home well-kept and surrounding trees cut back to minimize potential hazards. The better your property appears the lower the cost to insure it will be.
- Building type - Condo and townhouse owners will likely have a home owners association which will cover the exterior of the home so you are only responsible for the interior. This can save you hundreds of dollars each year. If the unit includes custom building and expensive materials expect to pay more because the cost to replace those items is greater.
- No Claim history - Try not to make a claim if it is a small value of $2000 or less. Most companies look at multiple claims as a sign that you are prone to making claims in the future. If you are deciding whether to make a claim or not contact your insurance agent and ask them personally. Don't call the claim department and ask them because they are likely to document the call and file it for future use.
- More Discounts - Ask about multiple policy discounts and the combination of auto and home insurance. Sometimes combining your personal auto insurance with this policy can save you 20-30% off each policy.
Hawaii's 5 largest cities by population
City - Population
Pearl City 47,698
*Data from 2010 Census Population by the Department of Economic and Community Development.
Common Landlord Insurance Claims in Hawaii
(Most claims cost over $2,800 to repair wind damage)
Dog Bite Liability
(Most claims cost over $8,000 to recover from liability claim)
(Most claims cost over $4,800 to repair damage from water)
(Most claims cost over $5,900 to repair physical damages to property)
Loss of Rental Income
(Most claims cost over $3,000 to recoup lost rental income)
NOTICE: The amounts listed above are for illustrative purposes only and should not be used to decide what coverage limits you need for your landlord policy. Speak with your insurance agent to determine the proper coverage limits.